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Derek M. Gillis

Headshot Derek M. Gillis

Derek advises businesses, individuals, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions in complex litigation matters.  He draws upon his trial and appellate court experience to advocate for clients in the courtroom and advise clients on how best to achieve their business and personal goals.  Derek’s experience spans issues and industries, as he has handled a wide variety of matters including business litigation, real estate disputes, professional liability, medical malpractice, fiduciary litigation, and insurance coverage.

Representative Accomplishments

  • Part of team that obtained $2.5 million pre-judgment real estate attachment after evidentiary hearing, where client’s former business partners failed to pay under agreement to purchase client’s stock in company. The opposing parties contended that they were relieved of their payment obligations because of an alleged violation of a non-solicitation agreement, but the court rejected that defense and awarded attachment on real estate to be held throughout litigation. The court also denied the opposing parties’ request for a preliminary injunction.
  • Successfully briefed opposition to motion to compel arbitration, preventing company from forcing consumer client into arbitration and resulting in dismissal of the action.
  • Secured pre-judgment attachments on opposing party’s assets in a commercial lease dispute.
  • Represented accounting firm during two-week jury trial in breach of contract and professional malpractice case brought by quasi-governmental corporation.
  • Assisted in obtaining ruling in favor of enforceability of nursing home’s arbitration agreement against decedent’s heirs in wrongful death action.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of client contractor sued in connection with fire-damaged condominium.
  • Obtained dismissal of malpractice claims against doctor in case presenting open question of statutory interpretation.


  • Suffolk University Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 2012) Dean’s List; Lead Articles Editor, Journal of Health & Biomedical Law
  • Providence College (B.S. in Management, cum laude, 2009) Dean’s List; Tau Pi Phi – National Honor Society in Business Administration
  • Boston Latin School

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court, Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court, Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

Derek served as a law clerk to the Honorable Maureen McKenna Goldberg of the Rhode Island Supreme Court (2013-14 term) and the Honorable Michael A. Silverstein on the Rhode Island Superior Court Business Calendar (2012-13 term). During law school, Derek completed internships with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Honorable Mitchell J. Sikora, Jr. of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

  • Alumni Committee Member, Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund
  • Moot Court Competition Judge, Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project
  • Member, Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Member, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance